Ongava Tented Camp

Reviews of Ongava Tented Camp

Excellent(92%) From 119 travellers
Excellent
85
Good
24
Average
5
Poor
5
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 119 of our travellers who have visited Ongava Tented Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mrs B. from Lancs
Arrived on: 28-Feb-2017 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Poor
Poor
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Terrible
Terrible
Food:
Terrible
Terrible
Activities:
Good
Good

not good

The only lodge that was way below standard.
on the positives-
guide was good and game viewing ex.
room was good
on the negatives-
food awful
management non existant and I suspect this was the whole problem

On the day of our arrival we were told Neil was our guide and to meet at 4.30 but he was no where to be seen and everyone else left with their guides so we asked someone and they said our guide was Abner tonight and someone else tomorrow but they didnt know who. So we had to run to catch up with our guide only just getting there before he left. He obviously didn't know we were with him either. we had a tremendous downpour while on the drive and he had only enough waterproofs for 6 and there 8 of us so we all got totally drenched. when we arrived back we asked who would take us out tomorrow and they said it would be the same guide again so we had to go and find him to ask about the times for meeting up. Altogether a real mess!!!!!!! and this is meant to be a holiday

The meals were best described as awful. The only food we enjoyed as pea soup one night. The steak I had on the first night was inedible and the fish on the second night was cooked in soggy batter probably straight from a frozen packet or worse.
When we checked out the only person on the place was our waiter and that pretty much says it all !

This is the worst place we have stayed in years and really disappointed.

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Expert Africa comments

Following these travellers comments Ongava Tented Camp (OTC) have expressed the regret that the standards here were not as high as everyone would have expected and they have apologized whole-heartedly.

Shortly before their stay the Ongava Reserve broke away from a longstanding partnership with Wilderness Safaris and it seems that the effects of striking out on their own were still being felt during these travellers visit. At the time there had been a spate of short notice staff departures leaving the camp understaffed and overstretched. Whilst this shouldn’t be an excuse we believe this was the major contributing factor to the apparent lack of management and subsequent communication problems.

Since these travellers stayed here the camp has been actively increasing the number of staff and training the existing members to improve standards.

Similarly since their stay the camp has undergone ‘off season’ renovations and partial closures. As a part of this the chefs have been sent on an ‘intensive weeks training at the Silver Spoon academy’ to improve the standard and quality of the food.

So, whilst we understand that these travellers were disappointed by their experience here we believe that their comments have not only been heard by the camp but also acted upon. We hope that this will help future travellers enjoy the high levels service we have come to expect from Ongava Tented Camp.

Mr C & Mr A - London
Arrived on: 28-Dec-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

A great few days

We really enjoyed Ongava Tented Camp. From the moment we arrived the staff greeted us with smiles and a positive attitude. Nothing was too much trouble.

The accommodation was lovely, in permanent tents. The setting was great and the common area was lovely to spend time in, with a little pool and a water hole not far away. We were there after they had had significant rain which meant that not a lot of wildlife came down to the water hole but it was still great.

Our guide (Leon) was fine, although he could have been more forthcoming with his knowledge of wildlife and birds. We saw a lot of rhino, a large bull elephant, plenty of antelope etc. but the lions and other cats were elusive.

Would definitely recommend Ongava Tented Camp. Might be better to go during the dry season when the wildlife is likely to be more visible.

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Ms J. from Northamptonshire
Arrived on: 26-Dec-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Ongava Tented Camp review

Everything was excellent here, with the exception of the odd meal.

Highlight of the stay was our full day (12 hour) safari with Zuma in Etosha.

All of the staff were really helpful

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Mrs & Mr A - Western Australia
Arrived on: 9-Nov-2016 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Ongava Tented Camp review

We had one night here and it is a very nice camp but probably a little bit dated compared to some of the tented camps.
The afternoon game drive was excellent which is inside the private game reserve.
The tented rooms are clean and comfortable with views up to the waterhole.
The main camp area looks across onto the waterhole and is great for viewing game coming in for a drink.
The evening meal was excellent as was the wine selection. Breakfast was basic.
The staff were all very nice and were very friendly and helpful.

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Mr & Mrs W. from Clitheroe
Arrived on: 18-Oct-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Greeted by elephants

This camp has its own, busy waterhole about 10 metres from the terrace. We were greeted by elephants as we checked in. Later visitors included kudu, springbok, giraffe and a black rhino.

Our first sundowner trip was memorable for our close encounter with a female black rhino and her calf. We later watched lions relaxing by a distant water hole. An early morning trip into Etosha saw us visiting busy waterholes in the south of the Park. Our guide Leon proved an expert at spotting game. Our final sundowner trip in the Reserve gave us the chance to spend some time watching the pride of lions with their enchanting cubs. The evening finished with a sighting of a white rhino with her calf.

We believe that Ongava was previously run by Wilderness Safaris. It seems to lack the same esprit de corps as the WS camps we have visited. This is why we have rated the camp as Good rather than Excellent.

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Mr K. from Tonbridge
Arrived on: 28-Sep-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Average
Average

Ongava Tented Camp review

May have been better run as a wilderness camp. The food was pretty bland, but there was more atmosphere here. The guiding was ok, more of a drive around until you spot something, type of guiding, but we saw lots and lots of rhino so we can’t complain.

Ongave is a nice reserve, you do feel a bit closed in but that may be because of where the animals congregate , so you end up on the same loops. We did a day trip to etosha. I hated etosha with a passion. Busses, coaches, big 4 wheel drive cars driving too fast kicking dust in your face. Nothing to see from water hole to water hole. ( im shuddering) if this was really what safaris were like I’d never go again. Thankfully we only spent half a day at Etosha.

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Mrs M. from Scanzorosciate BG
Arrived on: 19-Aug-2016 Stayed for: 1 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great game at Ongava Tented Camp

We really like the tents and common area there, pity the limitation that you cannot walk around by yourself, we felt a bit retraint there, they should think to people who like to walk (same as we do), this is the only concern.

We were given the Tent n. 1, close to the parking spot, the most far away from the water hole, I understand that somebody have also to stay there but.....

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Mr and Mrs L from London
Arrived on: 12-Aug-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

A great safari at Ongava

We loved Ongava. Our guide, Tsuma was lovely. We were really lucky to see a pride of lions about 6 feet away from us and also some Rhino.

We preferred the safaris at Ongava rather than in Etosha; we felt closer to the animals and were allowed to drive off road.

The service was fantastic and all the staff friendly. We loved Sidney!

The waterhole by the pool was incredible. A really special place.

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Mrs L & Mr G - Australia
Arrived on: 14-Jun-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Ongava Tented Camp Reserve

This camp is nice and small with really well appointed tents situated on a private reserve. It's reception area is near a small man made watering hole which was frequented by many different species of antelopes.

Lions appeared to have settled very close to camp whilst we were there. We managed to get pretty close to them which was memorable even though they appeared to be very comfortable around humans... Our guide Leon slotted an extra game drive in for us so we could see Rhino's which we did. It's very dusty and bumpy around there, but that's what Safari's and Africa is all about! An added bonus was that on our last night in the camp we had two male lions in our camp roaring at each other - very surreal...

We spent a day in Etosha but didn't see big herds of animals as I had imagined and the animals we saw were quite far away.

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Mr H & Ms Q - Nevada
Arrived on: 14-Jun-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

A camp with an abundance of wildlife

Ongava Tented Camp is located in the private Ongava Reserve, not far from the Andersson Gate at the southern boundary of Etosha National Park. The camp offers game drives in both Etosha and the Reserve, giving you the best of two quite different environments. In Etosha, you drive, along with quite a few other visitors, from one water hole to another, where there likely will be quite a variety of wildlife, at least during the dry season when we were there. It’s somewhat artificial, but worth it for the chance to see the animals. In the Reserve, you can go off road to get close to the animals, and take guided hikes in search of wildlife. It seems more genuine to observe them in their natural habitats. A special bonus is that Ongava Reserve offers one of the better locations in southern Africa to see both white and black rhinos.

The camp is on the smaller side with 10 tents, located in a quiet area of the Reserve, sufficiently separated from two other camps and Etosha NP so we didn’t notice our neighbors at all. The highlight of the camp itself undoubtedly was the water hole, situated only a few yards from the veranda in front of the dining area. A regular stream of animals visited, members of the antelope family (kudu, waterbuck, springbok) in particular, but also zebras and even lions and rhinos on occasion. Everyone brings a camera to the meals!

Leon, our outstanding guide, located a great variety of wildlife for us, and always positioned the vehicle for the best photo angle. We saw three young male lions lounging in the sun by the side of the road with a giraffe carefully watching them, two adult females blocking our route, and the pride’s male striding down a trail. We barely missed a rhino with calf one evening, and returned early the next morning to find a couple of them posing for photos. Leon brought us close to many other animals: elephants, giraffes, assorted antelopes (such as black faced impala, waterbuck), wildebeests, black backed jackals, and more, including colorful birds.

This camp was well maintained with a friendly and efficient staff that ensured our stay was perfect in all respects. Food was very good. The family dining arrangements made for lively conversation with other guests.

We are very pleased we included Etosha National Park, and this camp and its private reserve, on our itinerary in Namibia. We would recommend a stay here, to experience a somewhat greener face of Namibia. Our other stays were all in the desert.

The full report on the Expert Africa web site is redundant in several places, and should be re-done with duplicate info removed.

Our Namibia safaris were arranged by Expert Africa (Maruska handled our account), and they did a superb job. We can't recommend them too highly.

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